dogs · Journal

This is a big day, 2 years since Brogan’s diagnosis!

Feels like I blinked and summer was over, I don’t know how it managed to slip by so quickly. It doesn’t feel like I accomplished much, but I did get to enjoy it. It just feels like it went by too quickly.

We got to spend a lot of time at the cabin, which is our happy place. So although summer went by too quickly I do have to say that we did get to embrace and appreciate every moment of it.

Today, September 27th, is an emotional day for me. Its my mom’s and one of my good friends birthdays, but its also on this day that we lost Sloan, and that Brogan got diagnosed with right sided heart failure. This year today is a day for celebration. I’m celebrating that I have such a loving family and circle of friends. I’m celebrating all the love that Sloan brought to us in the short amount of time we got him, and I’m really celebrating that Brogan is still with us and is doing fairly well. Not saying our life hasn’t changed, but he didn’t have a great prognosis and its 2 years post diagnosis and he’s still feeling good, being a goof, and today he even managed to catch 3 Frisbees in a row…he then missed the next 5. But he has never caught one yet, so thats pretty amazing. Unfortunately I’m away on the road this week, so I didn’t get to see it, but my husband made sure he shared it with me. It makes me so happy that he still feels good enough to do those things. He loves frisbee, he loves going for walks, he loves travelling with us and he loves being a pest to his older, smaller brother. So I am very grateful that he still is with us and enjoying all of that.

dogs · Journal

Brogan’s heart mystery continues

Brogan loves playing in mud and water

Last time I wrote about Brogan I wasn’t sure what he would want and what we should do with him…should we let him off leash, should we let him have dog friends, or should we play it safe and keep him on leash and healthy for as long as we can. Well today confirmed my decision to keep him on leash. We went for an on leash walk this morning. It had rained so it was muggy, but not crazy hot. He loves playing in mud puddles and really any water, so I let him splash around in the ditches while we were walking. He ended up in one spot that was deep and he sorta had to take 3 swimming strokes to get across. He came out of that hole and was so happy, but was starting to look a little tired so I figured we would come straight back to the cabin and into the air conditioning. We weren’t far from the cabin when he slowed right down, I looked to see what he was doing, I could tell that he was dizzy and he sat down when I was getting close to him. I put my arms around him and held him and talked to him and while I was doing that he slumped down onto his chest. I kept talking to him and we sat like that for a bit, he didn’t lose consciousness, but definitely was having some issue. When he was okay we got up and walked the rest of the way to the cabin.

He basically confirmed with that episode that I can’t let him run around off leash. His heart, or whatever is causing issues, is just not good enough for it. He is happy with our on leash walks, always wants to go, plays like a goof with Rosco (his dog brother) and basically seems very content and happy to be doing what we are doing. So we will enjoy every minute of every day we have together, we just won’t be running around in any off leash areas. I’m okay with that. And I guess he will have to be as well.

dogs · Journal

Brogan’s heart

We have been a long roller coaster ride with Brogan and his heart. As many of you might remember we were basically told that we had 4 or 5 months with him when he was initially diagnosed…and we have definitely surpassed that…and I’m hoping we continue to do so for many more years. That being said the big guy still has the odd collapse/faint, even though we have followed everything that we are supposed to with him. And I’m the kind of person that wants all the answers. Last time I wrote about him we were at the point of thinking it was 2 separate conditions, but we were waiting for the cardiologist to get back to us to see what she thought about that theory. I finally got to speak with her. She said it’s really hard to confirm that, because there are a few other heart related issues that could be causing his collapses. She said she would like to do 2 more tests on him and is supposed to get back to me with the cost associated with them. I’m at the point now that I have to decide if I need to keep testing to try to get an answer, or if I just continue enjoying him and doing what we are doing and just let him live his life. Really the only reason I would like to have a definite answer is so that he could have dog friends again and be allowed to be off leash again. But at this point I’m not 100% sure that is worth it. He is doing well, he doesn’t seem to miss his dog friends as much (he does have a dog brother that fulfills the dog “friend” part) and he doesn’t seem to mind on leash walks, although I’m sure he would love some off leash time. It would be so much easier if he could talk. For so may reasons, but mostly so he could tell us what symptoms he feels and is having before he collapses. And also what he would like us to do. What would he choose if it were up to him. That is the really hard part with animals, we have to guess at what they are feeling…in every way.

Journal · young living

Find your inner joy

Life is too short to not live it how we want. We need to find the things that make us the happiest and do more of them. This weekend I was lucky enough to attend a ladies night. We laughed so much that the next day my cheeks hurt and it felt like I had done the best abs workout ever. It is amazing how a night out with people you love is so good for the soul. It reminded me that I need to find more time to do the things that truly make me happy. It’s part of my plan for the year to focus on what makes me happy in life. It’s been way harder than I thought it would be. Why is that? Why do we allow ourselves to get wrapped up in the day to day stress? And why do we allow the negative people in our lives to drag us down with them? Or is that just me that allows that to happen?

I have found an oil blend that helps uplift me and makes me smile more. I use it in my diffuser regularly. It is:

A wonderful smelling blend that makes me smile

So here’s to all of us living the life we want to live, and enjoying things more!

Journal

Appreciate your time with loved ones

It’s been a while since I have sat down to write anything. Initially I was sick and didn’t feel up to it, I felt like I had the never ending cold that sucked all the life out of me for over 2 months, and then the unthinkable happened and I didn’t know what I should say about it, if anything. Many of you heard about the awful tragedy that struck the Humboldt Broncos. And if you haven’t I’m not sure where you have been hiding, but a simple google search will catch you up on what happened, written by people much more qualified than I am to write about it. It was something that affected everyone. You couldn’t find a person who didn’t know someone, or knew someone who knew someone, or at a bare minimum was a hockey fan who understands how integral hockey is to small town Saskatchewan…really most communities in Canada understand how small the hockey community is. Now I can’t say I’m currently involved in anything to do with hockey personally (other than having a lot of friends and family with kids playing hockey), but that wasn’t always the case. When my husband and I were first dating that was how we spent most of our weekends, we were like most small town teenagers, we were at the hockey rink cheering on our home team. We travelled all over to watch them play. And many of our friends and family played higher level hockey. So the tragedy really hit home, as it did for everyone. It was a devastating event, but it also brought the world together. It was amazing to hear how much money was raised from so many countries for the Humboldt Broncos. The outpouring of support made me feel so proud to be part of our country. I can’t honestly say that most of the time, when we are bombarded by negativity. This was a horrible accident that brought the best out of everyone. It was great to see that we can all put our differences aside and pull together to support each other when we need to. It is something that no one will ever forget 💔 #Humboldtstrong

It also made me reflect on myself and my life. It’s so easy to focus on the negative and what is “wrong” with things around you. I am trying very hard to appreciate everything and focus on what makes me happy. I’m not saying the negative in my life has magically disappeared, but I’m trying not to let it consume my day. There are so many things in life that we take for granted. I’m trying not to do that anymore, I want to know that the last thing I said to someone was kind, and that if something happens to someone I love I will know that they knew I loved them and appreciated them in my life. I hope everyone takes the good out of this tragedy and makes the world a kinder happier place to be in.

dogs · Journal

Brogan’s heart update – part 2

I’ll give a brief recap for those of you who haven’t read the original post, or first update. Brogan is in heart failure, has been for a while, but in the last couple of months he started having more collapses and other strange episodes that kinda pointed towards his heart deteriorating. We ended up repeating his echocardiogram and that showed that his heart wasn’t deteriorating, but didn’t explain what was causing him to have more symptoms. So the cardiologist recommended a few things. You can read the full post here and the follow up here

We finally got all of Brogan’s test results back. One of the tests that they wanted done was for Lyme disease. Lyme disease hasn’t been studied a lot in dogs yet, but the cardiologist figured it was worth ruling out. That is a very simple blood test, and we got those results fairly quick…negative…which is fantastic news, but left more questions as to what might be causing his issues.

The next thing they recommended was discontinuing 2 of his medications, so we discontinued one immediately. The other one has mixed information as to how to discontinue it, do you do it cold turkey, or do you wean them of. I decided to play it safe and slowly wean him off over a 2 week period. While we were in the process of weaning him off that drug we got him fitted with a holter monitor to monitor his hearts electrical activity for an extended period of time. This is the same tool that they use with people. Instead of giving a brief snippet of your hearts rhythm and electrical impulses it gives an extended reading so that the cardiologist can see what happens with your heart in your normal daily routine.

Brogan getting shaved and fitted for his holter monitor

We had his monitor set for 48 hours in the hopes that we could capture an “episode” during that time. He got it put on on a Friday and wore it until Sunday, while doing everything we would normally do on a weekend. I took it off Sunday afternoon and then dropped it back off at the Vet clinic on Monday. Of course he didn’t have any episodes, but I was hoping we would get something useful from it anyway.

While we were waiting for those results we had gotten him off the 2 medications that the cardiologist recommended and both my hubby and I noticed that Brogan seemed younger, more goofy and definitely more energetic. He never wants to come back from a walk now, and will bug Rosco to play with him again. It’s fantastic to see him seem so young again.

Yesterday we got word that his holter monitor didn’t show anything significant. That is great news, but does leave the question of his symptoms getting worse unanswered, however, that being said I kinda think it was his one medication. In all my reading about that medication it shows that some of the side effects of it in people are exactly what he was displaying, dizziness, fainting and headaches are listed in people, we definitely saw the first 2 in him. So perhaps we have our answer…and I’m sure hoping that we do. Because if it was as simple as discontinuing 2 drugs to get our goofy Brogan back I will take it.

I’m undecided if that means we will brave off leash excursions again, or just stick to on leash walks and increasing those for now. But whatever we do, I’m celebrating the fact that he feels great, and seems much younger than his soon to be 7 years. So here’s hoping that we have the answer and we get to enjoy him for many many more years to come.

Journal

Wonder…a movie review

I didn’t plan on ever doing a movie review on here. But the message in “Wonder” was so powerful and so pertinent with what is going on in the world today that I thought I had to talk about it. I don’t want to ruin the movie for anyone, so I will keep as much about the actual move as I can out of this post and instead try to focus on the message.

The movie is about a boy who has was born with major facial deformities and his journey when he starts school in the fifth grade (he was home schooled up until then). The judgement he got from kids and adults and how he deals with it, as well as how his family deals with it is the focus on the show.

I loved this quote that one of the teachers wrote on the board right at the begining of the movie:

“When given the choice between being right or being kind, choose kind. – Dr Wayne W. Dyer”

The message is so true. And I wish that more of us made this our goal/mantra for our daily life. I’m sure our world would be a much better place if we did. I know I am going to try to think about this quote before I speak. Our words & subtle looks can hurt others. Saying things without thought can be so hurtful without actually meaning to be. Sometimes we say things we don’t mean, or assume that it will be taken as a joke, but often it isn’t and it just hurts someone else. The one I’m going to try to be more aware of and try not to do is point out why someone is wrong about things that are insignificant. Really all it accomplishes is making someone else feel badly. There are kind ways to educate people, and often we are pointing out things that are a matter of opinion. The other thing I want to be more aware of is comments about things that others have no control over. I feel I have already started doing this, but I also want to stick up for people who may not defend themselves.

I don’t have kids, but if I did it would definitely be a movie that I would watch with them. It has a very powerful message about empathy and shows different moments from different peoples perspectives. I hope that it brings more awareness to our societies faults, and I hope that more people choose to be kind!

Oh and bring tissue, this movie brought tears to my eyes on more than one occasion.